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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Understanding images : a study of the use of materials designed to include the teaching of art history and art criticism together with related studio exploration in B.C. secondary schools Ailey, Gabriele Elisabeth


This study examines the use of locally relevant curricular materials Understanding Images: Bill Reid and Understanding Images: Gathie Falk by three art teachers. The materials were developed by the researcher and modelled on the concept of discipline-based art education. The major purpose of this investigation was to determine if relevant instructional support material which addresses the historical and critical domains together with studio production were developed and made available would visual art teachers be inclined to offer a more balanced program and one which parallels the prescribed curriculum for junior and secondary art education in British Columbia. Secondary interests of this investigation were to determine if an understanding of the integration of the historical, critical and production domains was reflected in 1) the quality of dialogue between the teacher and the student, 2) the quality of talk among students and 3) the student art work. The descriptive, qualitative study followed the in-class activities of three art teachers in three junior secondary schools. The major instrument was the researcher who, in the role of non-participant observer, collected field notes. Further data were collected by questionnaires, sample interviews, random conversation with students, samples of student art work and photographs of classroom activity. The framework for the study was based on Eisner's (1979) model of educational criticism in which he identified three major aspects: the descriptive, the interpretive, and the evaluative aspect. (p. 211) As a result of the findings, strengths and limitations of the instructional materials were identified and implications for development and implementation of similar instructional materials for visual art education were made.

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